Your holiday’s booked and excitement is building, you’re looking forward to relaxing, unwinding and making the most of your time away.
Nichola West from leading travel blog Globalmouse Travels explains how she squeezes every drop of enjoyment out of her trips.
Before you go
To keep creases at bay, I roll my clothes and then secure them with elastic bands before packing them.
If you have lots of bulky clothing – for a winter sports trip, for example – I find that placing the clothes in compression vacuum bags is a great space saver.
To keep track of jewellery or other small items, I use things like my glasses case or children’s pencil cases to keep everything in one place.
I start using Flight Board when I arrive at the airport to turn my phone into a live departures board. It helps me track our departure time and gate number, and see whether our flight is due to leave on time.
My children love the Zinc Flyte scooter cases, which are part scooter, part suitcase. It means they can whizz around the terminal or station, burn off energy and they’re helping to carry the luggage without even noticing.
If I’m flying with my family, I make use of airport lounges where possible. They can take you away from the hustle and bustle of the airport into a calmer space, where often drinks and snacks are included to help set you up for the journey.
Once I’ve arrived and unpacked, my next port of call is finding out where to go and what to do in the area.
Instagram is my favourite place to find sights to visit when I’m staying somewhere new. It’s a great way to research a location before you set off, and because it’s constantly being updated it can help you find out what’s going on near to you.
Use the search facility to type in the city or area you’re in – there’s usually a wealth of great photography which will help inspire your itinerary.
I love the range of destination apps Lonely Planet produces which can be preloaded on to a phone or tablet. I’m able to download information about the area I’m visiting, along with maps and a guidebook.
Another app I like to have to hand is Google Translate, which makes communicating in a foreign language much easier, and also doesn’t use my mobile phone data when abroad.
Enjoying the break
My ideal holiday includes at least one activity or attraction to visit each day, time for relaxation and room for spontaneous plans. To keep track of things I use Tripit, a handy free app that keeps my itinerary, booking references for hire cars, insurance policy and flight details all in one place.
After the lights go out for the kids, I try to build in some time for the adults to relax. I opt for interconnecting rooms rather than family rooms when staying in hotels so that you can have a separate space to unwind in the evenings.